California at #14 Washington
When: Saturday, September 7 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA
For this final matchup, I want to stick to just one side of the ball. Typically, Washington’s defense is the focus of the game. That’s not the case here. The Washington offense has NFL talent, but the California defense has much of the same.
The Golden Bears might have the best secondary in all of college football. All five of their starting defensive backs have a real chance of being selected in the 2020 NFL Draft if they declare.
Both safeties are returning redshirt seniors. Ashtyn Davis is a superb athlete over the middle with a diverse skill set. He is not shy of contact and he possesses excellent ball skills in the passing game. He is also one of the most electrifying returners in the country.
Jaylinn Hawkins is a ball-hawking safety with a ton of range next to Davis. When Hawkins steps up in the box, he is as violent as they come. He is also a leader of the defense and he has the mentality of a captain. His draft stock for 2020 should be under a close eye.
Nickel cornerback Traveon Beck is another senior in the secondary. Beck has flashed ball skills and he jumps routes up near the line of scrimmage.
The outside corners for Cal are also great NFL prospects in their own right. Junior Elijah Hicks is an aggressive man-cover corner with long arms. He comes up to help against the run and he will blow up screen passes in a hurry. One thing I always look for in a cornerback is swagger and confidence; Hicks has both.
Redshirt junior Camryn Bynum is the prize of the bunch. Bynum is arguably a first-round talent for 2020. He is a true lockdown corner with length and the innate ability to get his hands on the ball. Bynum consistently disrupts the pass.
As talented as they are though, the Cal secondary will be faced with the difficult task of shutting down the Washington passing attack this week.
The Huskies have a very dangerous offense. Georgia transfer Jacob Eason made his debut at quarterback for the Huskies last weekend and he completed 27 of 36 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns. He diced up the Eastern Washington defense en route to leading Washington to a 47-14 victory.
Eason has a plethora of weapons at his disposal this year. Andre Baccellia caught five passes for 84 yards and a score last week and tight end Hunter Bryant – one of the best tight end prospects in college football – finished with six catches for 81 yards.
Wide receiver Aaron Fuller is a player to watch closely. His name is often lost in the shuffle when discussing the class of 2020, but Fuller is a stud. He is one of the best leapers in the nation. Fuller can jump out of the gym and haul in just about any pass in his direction. Just check out his very impressive catch from last weekend:
Can Jacob Eason decimate a loaded secondary, or will the California defense shut down a promising passing attack?